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NFC East injury report


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Just one more month of vacation for the NFL.

While many of the players and coaches will use the final three to four weeks of freedom for some final days of R&R, several are hoping to check out of Club Med-ical by the time camp starts in late July.

Amani Toomer says he shaved his head so his helmet could fit better and prevent concussions.(AP)

Since last season ended, an abundance of players have headed into the offseason with a surgery here, a 'scope there and hours upon hours of rehab time.

In the first of a eight-part series leading up to the start of training camp (the Texans and Falcons are the first to begin full-team workouts in a few weeks), SportsLine.com will update the injury status of players with a notation of when their teams can expect them to begin working out ... if at all.

Considering the majority of players will have some sort of bang or bruise or work done in the offseason, we are limiting our update to about 80-90 players. Thus, not every injured player on every team will be evaluated. Players' status will be rated on a scale as follows:

Ready for camp

Limited in camp

Preseason return

Regular-season return

Likely to miss all or part of the upcoming season

The first installment of our series includes the teams of the NFC East.

Despite having five players with injury concerns, the New York Giants will enter camp worrying more about their mental stability and concerns with locker room love than a toe injury to Ike Hilliard and a knee problem for Jason Sehorn.

The Cowboys have dramatically upgraded their defense, thanks to Jerry Jones' offseason moves, but one of these additions remains a big question mark. The Redskins head into the Steve Spurrier inaugural campaign in good health, but a short trip up I-95, the boys in Philly are nesting quite a few concerns.

Now that the groundwork is set, it's time for the doc to make his rounds:

Dallas Cowboys

OLB Kevin Hardy (knee) -- Limited in camp.

Hardy was injured last year for the Jags and then underwent micro fracture surgery on his knee late last season. He has been doing limited work this offseason, but the team has concerns he will not be at full speed until after camp.

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys

Player Pos. Injury Status

Kevin Hardy OLB Knee Might be limited through camp.

New York Giants

Player Pos. Injury Status

Ron Dayne RB Thumb On track to be ready for camp.

Rodney Williams P Surgery On track to be ready for camp.

Ike Hilliard WR Foot Start of camp but could be limited.

Jason Sehorn C Ankle, knee Limited in camp.

Philadelphia Eagles

Player Pos. Injury Status

Correll Buckhalter RB Knee Recovery, rehab 9-12 months.

Shawn Barber OLB Knee Start of camp.

Blaine Bishop S Foot, ankle Start of camp.

Sean Landeta P Knee Start of camp.

Washington Redskins

Player Pos. Injury Status

Bruce Smith DE Knee Isn't expected to do much until start of camp.

"You have to play and be out there," Hardy said. "But with an injury, you can't always do that. I think it's important for me to learn as much as I can in the meetings before practice. You also pick up a lot just standing in the huddles. I think I'll be ready by training camp and that was my goal all along. So this is just good progress for me."

New York Giants

RB Ron Dayne (thumb) -- Ready for camp.

Dayne underwent surgery to have the ligaments in his thumb fixed the week of June 6, but he participated fully during a passing camp last week.

"I think it was bothering him a little last year, and then he caught it in someone's jersey (last week)," coach Jim Fassel said. "It wasn't torn, but we wanted to fix it. He'll be ready to go for training camp."

P Rodney Williams (wrist) -- Ready for camp.

Underwent surgery the same time as Dayne. For Williams, it was the fourth surgery on his right wrist, which he fractured while tackling WR Reggie Swinton in a game against Dallas on Nov. 4. This surgery was to remove a screw that had been put into the wrist during a previous surgery.

"The fracture was fine, but they wanted to get the screw out," Fassel said. "If we were playing Sunday, he could punt."

WR Ike Hilliard (foot) -- Limited for camp.

The team is unsure of how much he'll be able to do as Hilliard elected to test his foot with the team just once this offseason.

The starting receiver participated during the first week of the club's two-week passing camp, working out in 7-on-7 and 1-on-1 drills. He didn't participate in the club's first minicamp last month and wanted to test his foot, which had its second surgery in the past 12 months Feb. 1.

"I felt OK," Hilliard said after the workout. "There's still a lot of pain there, a lot of discomfort. It's the same story. Maybe it will be like that for the rest of my life, so I'm not going to cry about it. Hopefully we'll get as much pain out of it as we can."

Hilliard then skipped the remainder of the team's passing camp. To his credit, he has bulked up immensely as he gears up for what will be his free-agent season.

WR Amani Toomer (kidney) -- Ready for camp.

Toomer gave the team a horrible scare a few weeks ago.

Several of Toomer's teammates told SportsLine.com that Toomer, running a deep route, crashed into the team's video department crane used to help film practices. Players screamed for Toomer to pull up. But the gutsy wideout finished his route and hit the immovable object quite hard. He bruised a kidney but resumed working out shortly after.

By the way, Toomer says he shaved off his stylish dreadlocks to help protect him from concussions. The additional hair did not let his helmet protect him fully, resulting in a couple of concussions last season. By shaving his head, he's hoping his helmet will provide the proper protection.

CB Jason Sehorn (ankle, knee) -- Limited in camp.

The team's starting cornerback is expected back from knee and ankle surgery by the start of training camp in late July, but the coaches are likely to limit him. Sehorn did not participate in minicamp as he continues to rehab an injury that caused severe pain last season. Sehorn had to get his knee drained within 24 hours of a game on more than one occasion. They don't want to rush him back to two-a-days full strength as they have solid youngster Will Peterson to take his reps.

Philadelphia Eagles

RB Correll Buckhalter (knee) -- Likely out for season.

The second-year back suffered a torn ACL during the club's first post-draft minicamp in late April and had surgery May 22. The club is calling his recovery and rehabilitation a nine-to-12-month period, which makes it doubtful he'll be able to return for the season. However, the Eagles have chosen to keep him off of injured reserve for the time being.

Duce Staley will start at the RB slot.

OLB Shawn Barber (knee) -- Ready for camp.

The former Redskins linebacker suffered a torn ACL on Sept. 30 when he was with Washington and missed the rest of the season. Barber signed with the Eagles early in free agency and will compete against second-year LB Quinton Caver (hernia surgery but is fine) for the starting weak ILB linebacker job. He says he is 100 percent.

S Blaine Bishop (foot, ankle) -- Ready for camp.

Bishop suffered a "Lis Franc" sprain last season in his foot while with the Titans but has recovered well enough from the injury to go full tilt. Bishop is lucky he overcame this injury as quickly as he has.

A Lis Franc sprain is a severe injury named after Napoleon's surgeon and it usually occurs when an athlete falls on pointed toes or backward while the foot (mid-foot) is trapped underneath the body. A ligament in the foot becomes sprained, causing the potential for displacement of the metatarsals or an unstable mid-foot and the injury has caused serious roadblocks in its victims' careers).

Bishop suffered an ankle sprain while working out on his own in Tennessee in May and was unable to participate during a June minicamp. However, he returned for the next minicamp with a bad ankle and is expected to be ready for camp.

Washington Redskins

DE Bruce Smith (knee) -- Limited in camp.

Smith had his right knee scoped in May and could go fully if there was a game this Sunday. However, he is still rehabbing and isn't expected to do much until training camp starts. Considering his age and string of recent injuries, Smith will be allowed to be somewhat limited to save his body.


Not too bad. Hopefully this trend will continue through training camp.

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